Final Statement of the Transnational Care Meeting Vienna

From the 16th to the 18th of May the *Transnational Care Meeting* took
place in Austria, Vienna.

This is the Final Statement of the Transnational Care Meeting:

“From the 16th to the 18th of May 2014, we met on invitation of the
Blockupy Platform Vienna to form the Transnational Care Meeting as part
of the European Action days. We are active in different political
groups, movements and projects. For three days, we discussed how the
crisis affects our common social infrastructure, our social relations of
care and our political struggles.

Care work is a fabric of all social relations – both materially and
emotionally. Yet, it is mostly invisible and neglected in public debate
and in our political struggles. Especially in the recent crisis, the
pressure on care work grows drastically: austerity policies destroy
public infrastructure like health care, education, child care and social
work. Care workers are confronted with increasing working hours and more
challenging requirements. The breakdown of social infrastructure and
services hits especially those how cannot afford to pay for a
market-based care work. While wealthier parts of society rely especially
on migrant care workers which often have to work illegally and under
highly precarious conditions, in other parts of society, this care work
is pushed into private households. It is mostly women who fill these
care gaps, often on top of already existing gendered care obligations.
Therefore, care work is highly connected with class, race and gender
discrimination.

While these conditions lead to burn outs, care work overload and
frustration – conditions we also experience in our personal lives – our
aim is to build up alternative forms of care infrastructure. We see the
urgency to defend public infrastructure against the attacks by
neoliberal privatisation and austerity. At the same time, we refuse the
simple alternative of state and market: What is at the core of our
struggle is the idea of a socialised and democratic care infrastructure
which allows us to care for each other in self-determined and collective
ways – without creating new dynamics of self-exploitation. We depart
from two perspectives at the same time: on one hand, we build up and
strengthen already existing alternative networks of care such as
self-organised kindergartens, community kitchens and collective forms of
living. On the other hand, we will reinforce and support struggles in
the health sector, in undocumented, illegalised household work and beyond.

Care work is transnational, and so are our struggles. Therefore, we
want to strengthen transnational networks, especially with Central and
Eastern Europe, as Austria is part of and benefits from these
transnational care spaces. One of our prospects is the mobilisation for
the Blockupy action days to make the opening ceremony of the European
Central Bank impossible in autumn 2014. Our care struggles will be an
important part of the movement that builds a democratic and
post-capitalist Europe from below.”

Vienna, 18th of May 2014 – wien.blockupy-frankfurt.org